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Recalls for Ford Escape, Mazda BT-50

Quick Escape: The potential for unintended acceleration has grounded nearly 9000 examples of the Ford Escape SUV in Australia.

Ford recalls 8800 Escape SUVs as Mazda replicates Ranger seat recall with BT-50

Ford logo6 Nov 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

UPDATED: 09/11/2012FORD is recalling 8798 examples of its Escape SUV sold between November 2001 and February 2006 over the potential for the throttle to stick open due to the cruise control cable not having enough clearance from the engine cover.

Mazda is also recalling around 3500 dual-cab BT-50 one-tonne utes because they potentially have the same rear seat-back problem that affected 4258 closely related Australian-developed Ford Rangers last month.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recalls website describes the Escape issue as potentially allowing the engine to be “stuck at full power when the accelerator pedal is fully or almost-fully depressed”.

“A throttle that is stuck fully or almost fully open may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop or slow the vehicle,” said the ACCC.

“The risk exists regardless of whether the cruise control is being used or not.”

Ford says there have been no reported cases of the issue in Australia and is in the process of contacting owners, who are encouraged to contact their Ford dealer to have repairs carried out or the Ford customer relationship centre on 1800 503 672.

27 center imageLeft: Mazda BT-50 ute.

The ACCC recommends Escape owners avoid the problem by “not fully or almost-fully depressing the accelerator pedal”, and provides advice on what to do if the problem occurs.

“If a driver experiences a stuck throttle, the driver should firmly and steadily apply the brakes without pumping the brake pedal, shift to neutral, steer the vehicle to a safe location and switch the engine off after the vehicle has completely stopped,” it says.

The recall follows a similar campaign for left-hand-drive Escapes that prompted an investigation revealing that the issue also affects 18,480 right-hand-drive vehicles across the Asia Pacific and Africa region.

Mazda’s recall affects BT-50s in the vehicle identification number (VIN) range MM0UP0YF100100501 – MM0UP0YF100108651 and, like last month’s Ranger campaign, it concerns a seat-back latch on the rear bench that “may not engage correctly”.

The recall notice says an incorrectly engaged rear seat-back latch may allow the seat-back to fall forward “and may pose a safety hazard to occupants”.

Owners of affected vehicles are advised not to operate them with a rearward-facing child seat and are encouraged to contact a Mazda dealer to arrange for repairs to be made, which involves the replacement of the link between the seat-back release strap and the locking mechanism.

Mazda Australia says there have been no reports of injuries or accidents in Australia related to the recall.

The company is contacting owners of affected vehicles advising them to contact their Mazda dealer to arrange a convenient time to carry out the recall work, which takes less than an hour to complete.

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